STEWART, LUYENDYK CONTINUE WALT DISNEY WORLD TESTING
ORLANDO, FLA., December 12, 1996 -- Tony Stewart and Arie Luyendyk continued testing G Force cars powered by Oldsmobile Aurora engines Thursday at Walt Disney World Speedway, spending much of the day with tire testing for Firestone. Stewart ran 54 laps for Team Menard with a best speed of 165.213 miles per hour. Luyendyk ran 93 laps for Treadway Racing with a top speed of 164.910 miles per hour. Both are scheduled to test again Friday, the last day of the three-day Firestone test.
At 1:32 p.m., Tony Stewart had an oil leak under the right rear tire of the Team Menard machine in Turn 3, slid sideways 450 feet to graze the outside wall near the starting line with the left rear, then corrected with a one-quarter spin to drive the car around the track to the pits. Stewart was uninjured. The car sustained minor suspension and rear wing damage. The crew repaired the car and pushed it back to pit road at 4:09 p.m. Stewart drove it back on the track at 4:45 p.m.
When Stewart returned to the track, team owner John Menard, who arrived in mid-afternoon at Walt Disney World Speedway, heard the sound of the Oldsmobile Aurora V8 for the first time. "It's got a really good, deep V8 sound," Menard said. "A good American sound. People are going to love it."
QUOTES: BUDDY LINDBLOM (Team Manager, Treadway Racing): "It (the car) is pretty sensitive to a variety of things ... shock changes, ride height changes. It's pretty stiff torsionally. It tends to be sensitive to minor adjustments. A good driver can feel them."
LARRY CURRY (Director of Racing, Team Menard): "The car is very consistent, very predictable. Tony Stewart says the car is really nice to drive. He's been out there running 21.9 (seconds). We're just starting to scratch the surface of the car. We're trying to do tire testing for Firestone and when you're doing that, they don't want you to change the car. We spun because he got in his own oil. It's a tribute to the new rules that we were able to spin a car on a 21.9 (second) lap and save it. In slowing the cars down, that's already a signal it may be working. The car was able to decelerate quicker because it wasn't going as fast. When's the last time you saw a guy spin on a one-mile oval and come back and run two hours later?"
ARIE LUYENDYK: "We were getting down to some times when something broke. The car is just starting to handle decent right now. We're just making changes, which are really minor changes, and we're just starting our tire test for Firestone."